Book Reviews of A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print)

A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print)
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Large Print
Author: Khaled Hosseini
ISBN-13: 9780739482360
ISBN-10: 073948236X
Publication Date: 7/2007
Edition: Lrg
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 26

4.5 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: Center Point Large Print
Book Type: Hardcover
Large Print: Yes
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

227 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 27
Oh wow.

I went into this book half-dreading it. I mean, can he even come close to The Kite Runner? That was such a great book, one of my favorites.

Well, Mr. Hosseini, it is your fault that it's almost 9am here and I'm tired. Why? I was up until 5am turning pages, I could NOT pry this book out of my hands. Once I hit around page 120, I was a goner. I HAD to finish it.

I won't say it's as good as Kite Runner - that would be a mistake. They are two different books, set in the same place/time (approximately anyway). The stories are different though. Several times, I cried so hard I couldn't read from all the blurring tears. This is a touching book, of two women whose lives converge, it's sad, but oh so beautifully told. The authors writing carries you away to this faraway place, making you be there, in the moment, with the people, in that climate, dealing with that oppression.

I am again struck by how different our lives were in the US during this time period (just 6-7 years ago) than it was in other countries. I cannot imagine living like some of them did.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 320 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
Can I give this book more than 5 stars? If you liked The Kite Runner you will like this book. The story is very compelling, disturbing and sad. It gave me a deeper appreciation for being an American citizen. What the two main characters go thru is something we cannot even begin to imagine. Not a book for the faint of heart. Some of the violence is quite graphic, IMHO. I read the book in less than 2 days, so get comfortable you are not going to want to put this book down. I hope that Hosseini has another book in the works.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
I just nabbed this one from my library. I almost read the entire thing in one sitting! This books is wonderful; I'm practically speechless. You owe it to yourself to read this one. I'm especially impressed with a male author who showcases the strength, courage and endurance women have...must have, to survive. Afghanistan is portrayed as a beautiful country and culture, surviving and enduring (much like its women) through regime after regime; waiting patiently, and with hope, for sanity and peace to return.
This story will stay with me for quite a while.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 788 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
It isn't often that I find a book that I love so much I hate to give it up. But this is one of them. When I love a book I also want everyone I know to read it too. And I love this book so much I will share with the hopes that as someone else reads it, they too will find the joy I found in thse words. This author is amazing. This is the second of his books i've read and I am hoping there will be more from him.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
What a phenomenal read. This is the story of turmoil in Afghanistan, the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, that spans 3 decades. This is the story of how women of Afghanistan are dependent on men: fathers, husbands, and sons. This was a beautiful novel.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
My heart is still pounding, I'm hyperventilating and I'm wiping away tears.

The book doesn't have the kick in the first half or so that The Kite Runner has, but towards the middle, it picks up with the fire and passion. It leads the reader down a path that twists and turns in a gentle manner, and tweaks expectations into hairpins. The evil spouse, Rasheed, despite his shortcomings is not played out to be entirely despicable even though he is a brutal person. It is difficult to articulate, but Rasheed beats and brutalizes his wives, but at the same time, although a hateful and hated person, is somehow tolerated by the reader.

I enjoyed reading this novel. I encourage you to read it, but don't beg you to read it as I did The Kite Runner. I don't feel it is better or worse than The Kite Runner, it is merely different. Perhaps my difficulty with A Thousand Splendid Suns, is that unlike other authors such as Wally Lamb, who wrote "She's Come Undone" or Michael Dorris who wrote my favorite, "A Yellow Raft In Blue Water", Hosseini doesn't manage in the early pages to truly capture the female psyche in his writing. He does manage to capture it toward the middle of the book, at which point the pages start turning themselves. The Kite Runner was written entirely through the eyes of a man by a man, so therein lies the difference. The larger issue for me is now that I've finished both of Hosseini's works, my expectations in the quality of what I read has risen.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Hosseini is a born story teller. His characters have depth and his settings pull you in. But the story he has to tell in A Thousand Splendid Suns is not a happy one. Basically this is a story of what it has been like to be a woman in Afghanistan for the past 30 years. Although it ends on a hopeful note, there was very little happiness throughout the rest of the story. Women are living in squalid conditions in constant fear, not allowed to go outside without an escort, having to go to separate hospitals that are so underfunded that they have no anesthetic and are forced to reuse rubber gloves. Without enough money to feed their families, women are forced to watch their children starve to death or else give their children up to orphanages where they will be fed. It's hard to believe that people are forced to live this way. After reading this I was inspired to donate to Hosseini's charity of choice, The UN Refugee Agency. This is a great story both for entertainment value and educational value. I recommend you read this, but don't expect that it will make you happy.
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Helpful Score: 6
While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 140 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I don't know. While I do think this is a good book and I would jump at recommending it to others, I just felt like it was missing something. Hosseini has a way of describing the landscape and political atmosphere that is absolutely spell binding. I loved the way he wrote from the woman's point of view. That brought the story closer to me.

However, nothing seemed to happen. Let me rephrase that, nothing surprising happened. A lot of the plot was quite predictable. Unlike The Kite Runner, there was no scene that truly defined this book. It was interesting, but a little hodge podged.

At the military bases in Afghanistan, they keep multiple copies of The Kite Runner on hand for the new guys. It is used to make them acquainted with their new surrounding. I just can't see this book being quite so helpful, let alone appealing to military guys. I almost got my nonreader DH to read The Kite Runner. He has no interest in this one.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Just as good as the Kite Runner, I read this book in about 3 days, just coudn't put it down, A wonderful book! I suggest it to anyone and everyone!
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is one of the best books that I have read this year. I started it, not thinking I was going to like it and ended up reading half of it in one sitting. The story draws you in and makes you want to know what is going to happen next. I would have read more but I had to force myself to go to sleep! I finished the book the next day and decided this is my favorite book that I've read so far.
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Helpful Score: 5
This book was so enthralling I couldn't put it down. It is a sad story but one that is so well written you can't help but feel what the women in the story are feeling. It is an eye opening look at what Afghanistan has gone through, particularly the women of Afghanistan over the last 30 years. It is definitely one of my favorites.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
If you loved Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, you will also love A Thousand Splendid Suns. This is another dark tale written in the same excellent style as The Kite Runner, sprinkled with historical facts which paints a realistic picture of what life could have been like for the women who struggled to survive a life ruled by men, and filled with tragedy and war. The novel spans thirty years of Afghanistan's history from the Soviet Union invasion through the reign of the Taliban and to the post-Taliban efforts to rebuild. This riveting tale revolves around two women whose lives became intertwined through unhappy circumstances that cause their lives to begin unraveling out of their own control. Finding themselves forced to obey the whims of an abusive husband, the story tells of the harsh realities of life for Afghani women, dreams lost, lives ruined, small joys, and hopes for a better tomorrow. A Thousand Splendid Suns, is truly one of my all time favorite books.
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Helpful Score: 4
Amazing book!! Makes me thankful for our country. It broke my heart to read this sad story. The hardships this woman went through are hard to believe. I think I went through a whole box of tissues. I definitely reccomend it!!
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Helpful Score: 4
Wow, what a truly moving story. Exhausting and pitiful, yet intriguing and powerful. I can't imagine living life this way.
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Helpful Score: 4
The only word I can think of for this book is: EXTRAORDINARY! So, so good!
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Helpful Score: 4
Eye-opening view of life for women in war-torn Afghanistan. Somewhat predictable at times, but interesting nevertheless. A bit hard to read in terms of the brutality of events, but not otherwise a hard read.
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Helpful Score: 4
A fabulously written novel. I had a hard time getting into it, but once I did, it was awesome. I cried.
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Helpful Score: 3
It is amazing how different life can be for others in different parts of this world. I truly appreciate my life in the US after reading this book and also The Kite Runner. You never realize how bad things can really be for others. While reading this book I developed so much empathy and sadness for Mariam and Laila. They are truly amazing and strong women to go through what they did. On the other hand, I was continually strucken with anger towards Rasheed and the government they had going on there. The amount of control they had towards others they thought less of was very disturbing. This is a beautifully written book and ends better than imagined. I highly recommend this book to read.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The next time I'm asked why I "waste" time reading non-fiction instead of books that would make me more knowledgeable about current events, I hope I remember to point out what I learned from reading this book. Up until know the bits and pieces I've picked up about what's been going on in Afghanistan haven't really sunk in very deeply. Then I picked up this book by the author of The Kite Runner and suddenly I started paying attention because Hosseini has gone beneath the surface to give readers a glimpse into what it's been like for ordinary men, women and children whose lives have been impacted by the terrifying events of the last 30 years of Afghanistan's history. Like his earlier book, this one left me feeling like I was living right alongside people I came to care about. Which is why it was so hard to read the horribly brutal scenes of violence especially the violence against women without feeling angry and outraged. Even though this book might lack some of the emotional intensity of his earlier one (the betrayal scene in The Kite Runner is one of the most heart-wrenching pieces of writing I've ever come across) I think it's every bit as good when it comes to depicting the complexities and depth of human relationships. But what affected me most was the staggering sense of knowing that while the book and its characters were all fictional, the world they had been invented to live in is not. Nor is the suffering and deprivation that Hosseini described. As he writes in the afterward: " War, hunger, anarchy and oppression forced millions of people. . .to abandon their homes and flee Afghanistan to settle in neighboring Pakistan and Iran. . .today more than two million Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan." As soon as I finished this book I went on-line to http://www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/ , a nonprofit organization founded by the author to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afganistan by supporting projects which provide financial, educational and medical assistance to women and children. Making a paltry little donation wasn't much, but it's more than I would have done had I never read this book. And that, it seems to me, is as good a justification for reading fiction as any!
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Helpful Score: 3
Hosseini did not fail to turn out another incredible story of Afghan life, this time focusing on the difficulties of being female in that country. I think this book rates a close second place to his Kite Runner.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 3
I never thought I would like this book as much as The Kite Runner. I never thought a second book could live up to The Kite Runner. Boy, was I wrong. I liked this book even better, partly because it centered around women, which I can relate to better. I read this book in one day and I'm still thinking about it two days later. The author's writing style and his amazing stories centering around Afghanistan are truly brilliant. This is by far one of the best books I've ever read.
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Helpful Score: 3
After reading the magnificent "The Kite Runner", I was almost hesitant to read his next novel; I didn't want to be disappointed or have Mr. Hosseini be a "one-hit wonder." I am thrilled to say that he continues to delight and astonish, and while not quite the opus that was his first novel, it's excellent too. This one deals with the injustices and hardships suffered by Afghani women, written from women's point of view. Amazing sensitivity from a male author!
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Helpful Score: 3
After hearing all the hype about this book, I decided that I had to read it. I'm very glad that I did. Hosseini is a masterful story teller. I read this book in one day; once I started it, I could not put it down.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is woven with Afghani history, but not so much so that it weighs the novel down. I felt that this story was complete; nothing could be added or taken away that could make it any better. Once I finished, I wasn't left with the feeling that something was missing. This book was so well written that there wasn't a moment where I didn't feel like I was part of the story, enduring through everything with Laila and Mariam.

This was, in my opinion, a perfect novel and a beautiful addition to contemporary fiction.
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Helpful Score: 3
I wasn't sure the second novel could live up to the Kite Runner, but I almost liked this one better. It follows the lives of women from different situations and tells a story of love and survival. I read this one in two days.

Highly recommended
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 3
After the magnificent story in The Kite Runner, Hosseini's second tale does not disappoint. You will be moved, through laughter and tears, as he weaves this tale of two women in Afghanistan. Hosseini has earned his place on my list of favorite authors.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 3
I read "The Kite Runner" and absolutely loved it. Because of that, I was actually hesitant to read this book. I was afraid of being disappointed because I didn't think there was any way it would begin to compare. Wow, did I get a surprise. This book was just as well-written. It was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time, just like "The Kite Runner". Read it - you won't be disappointed.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent narration! While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
While this was a very painful book to read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 3
I normally don't read best sellers or at least, when they're still popular. I also don't usually read historical fiction which I'd consider this book to be. I started to read it and I couldn't put it down. I was in awe of the experiences both women go through and in a way, made me thankful I don't live in a war torn country. It only made me think about how many women still experience the same stories as shared in this book.

I love how the author developed the characters and basically told their stories from when they were very young girls, up until they were almost middle aged. The story flows easily which makes it a quick, easy read.

Excellent book!
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Helpful Score: 2
This was an excellent book. Very descriptive in both details and historical references. I felt like I knew both women and felt with them. Mr. Hosseini is an excellent author.
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Helpful Score: 2
While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Another beautiful book by Khaled Hosseini. A different perspective on the troubles in Afghanistan than Kite Runner, but still a great read.
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Helpful Score: 2
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Khaled Hosseini is a very talented writer who makes you feel the emotions of the characters. I was amazed to hear in an interview with the author that many of the horrific scenarios in the book were based on true events he heard while visiting Afghanistan. I also read the kite runner and I felt this was the "female version" of that book.
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Helpful Score: 2
This book sort of reminded me of Like Water for Elephants. The story is somewhat similar, although clearly there is a difference between a circus and the middle east. Also, both books have some heart wrenching moments. Interesting.
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Helpful Score: 2
One of my favorite books. OMG how heartbreaking, beautiful and emotional book this was. By the end of the book, you are so attached to the protagonist of this book you dont want to let them go. Hosseini's best work yet.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 2
I was surely surprised that Khaled Hosseini could hit a second home run. The Kite Runner is right up there at the top of my "LOVED IT" books, but this one moved to an equal level. Well-developed characters deserve all the hisses and cheers that I offered. Darkly disturbing, but still leaving one feeling that good will overcome the bad.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 2
I would suggest this book to anyone. It was a quick read because it was a page turner. This story allows the reader to appreciate the different cultures and of the deprived, basic rights that women can endure.
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Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book, I enjoyed it as much as Kite Runner.
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Helpful Score: 2
* * * ½ * The book spans 30 years in the lives of 2 women in war-torn Afghanistan as they struggle against old male-created values. It is a definite page turner but the impact of the book's conclusion is marred by a hint of a theme the author uses in his first book. Thus it is not the type of book that will stay with you like "Kite Runner". Great book, nonetheless.
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Helpful Score: 2
I was hesistant to begin this book because I didn't think it was my kind of thing. All the positive feedback made me decide to order it and give it a try and I am so glad I did. It is fascinating, well-written - really a good, good read. Highly recommend.
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Helpful Score: 2
Awesome book! I wasn't sure I would like this book but once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It is a story that is heartbreaking yet filled with love, hope, and inspiration. Hosseini has a way of drawing you in so you feel that you are there with the characters. The story was a reminder for me of the role women in Afghanistan have had over the years. It is a must read!
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 2
One of the best novels I have read (ever). Weaves themes of history, love, war, suffering and endurance into a powerful, unforgettable tale. If you have not read this novel, you must.
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Helpful Score: 2
Fantastic book. Better even than his first, "The Kite Runner". I couldn't put it down.
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Helpful Score: 2
I recieved this book for my birthday, at first I didn't think I was going to like it but after reading the first chapter I found it hard to put down. I compleated the book in two days! The story draws you in and makes you want to know more. A great read.
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Helpful Score: 2
I was hooked on this book from the first chapter. Very sad, but couldn't wait to hear what would happen next. It was very enlightening also. Didn't realize how poorly women are still treated in other parts of the world. I would recommend. He is a GREAT author.
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Helpful Score: 1
I thought that this book was much better than the Kite Runner. The characters are believable, and the story has a nice pace to it.
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Helpful Score: 1
Wow! This was a very powerful book! Depressing much of the time, and I spent many hours brooding over and worrying about poor Mariam and Laila. I shed many tears for them. I kept trying to tell myself that it was "just a book," but in reality I know that despite the fact that it is a fiction book, it is probably based on the stories of thousands and thousands of real Afghanistan women. Such harshness, such brutality. I don't think we in America can fully fathom the horrors these women face. This book provided me with a much-needed glimpse of life in Afghanistan during it's past 30-some turbulent, war-torn years.

Thankfully, the book ended with a ray of hope, and at the end, I cried tears of bittersweet joy for Laila and her family. It is a hard book to read, but one, I think, that must be read. Now I'm off to read the much-acclaimed Kite Runner.
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Helpful Score: 1
Very well written book about life in Afganistan from the point of view of two women married to a vicious man who treats them like slaves. The women develop a friendship that sustains them through many degradations. The story covers the time from just before till just after the Taliban takeover of that country, thus offers its readers an insightful glimpse into the recent history of that region.
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Helpful Score: 1
An amazing book!
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Helpful Score: 1
Wow! I was worried a second book couldn't match the Kite Runner. But, this is better. It seems to go deeper into Afghanistan recent history and really focus on the country and its problems.

I loved it! Highly recommended if you like the Kite Runner
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book moved a little slow and was a bit depressing at first but things improved later in the book. I know more about life in Afghanistan now than I did before.
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Helpful Score: 1
It is amazing how these women suffered and how trapped they were. Even though this is a work of fiction, it is based on the reality many women still face in parts of our world today. I think that is what makes this story so real, that the things happening to the women in this book could be happening to someone else right now. I couldn't help but feel stifled along with them and feeling their frustration as they tried to change their lives for the better. The story is divided into a few different parts and alternates between the viewpoints of the two main female characters, Mariam and Laila. At first Mariam and Laila are at odds with each other, but later become like mother and daughter as a result of their shared struggle. It's a very powerful read (and difficult to put down, I read this one very quickly) and I look forward to reading Hosseini's first book The Kite Runner in the near future.
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Helpful Score: 1
I consider "The Kite Runner" one of the best books I've ever read. So I decided to give his second book a shot. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed "A Thousand Splendid Suns" every bit as much as his first book. This one may have actually been a bit better. I am in awe of his writing and storytelling ability.... the words, plot, and characters all flow. Some of the best books I've ever read.
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Helpful Score: 1
As with this author's other book, The Kite Runner, the book starts slowly. Then, you are drawn into a world that is so different from our lives in the U.S. The book follows the lives of two Afghan women who become the wives of one brutish older man, and also the children of the younger wife, and all of their relationships. Ultimately it is a story of love and sacrifice. There are parts in the book where your jaw will drop and you will cry and you will grin. It is that good.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. It definately made me cry and I learned so much about other cultures. I was really impressed by the way it was written. I would definately recommend this to anyone.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was a sad, disturbing, and true to life book. It's the kind of thing that I think is important for everyone to read because so many people take what they have for granted. This book really makes you appreciate your freedom and it's just shocking how horribly women are treated in some countries. Parts were definitely hard to read but the writing is so amazing that I read a lot of it in one night, just because I couldn't put it down. It's intriguing and beautifully written but also heart-breakingly sad.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is by far one of my favorite reads. I wrote a grant for it to be read by my sophomore English students too. It's that well done. The story is of two women who meet quite accidently in Afghanistan. The history of this country is present in the text, along with the treatment of women. It's a brutal read but tells the truth of women. We Americans have much to be thankful for indeed. Give it a try; you will be hooked too if you like historical fiction at all.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best books I've read in a LONG time. Hosseini writes about the friendship of two women amazingly well (especially for a man!) and the characters are very memorable. This story made me so greatful I was born a women in America!!
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Helpful Score: 1
Khaled Hosseini's depiction of the lives and roles of women in Afghanistan's history is simultaneously breathtaking and heartbreaking. I listened to the on a road trip, and, on several occasions, wept openly for Mariam and Laila, two women who will live in my mind for a long time to come.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is a book that ALL women should read! Really makes you appreciate every single thing you have in life- the good and bad.
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Helpful Score: 1
While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
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I liked "A Thousand Splendid Suns" so much more than "The Kite Runner," although they shared the same brutally realistic view of life in Afghanistan. Although there are scenes in this nearly as bad as "the scene" in "The Kite Runner," they didn't quite hit that horrifying nerve. I think I also could empathize with the female characters in "TSS" more than the male characters in "KR."

Comparison aside, this is an amazing story of women surviving horrifying hardships. It is ultimately a story of love between friends, between a mother and her children, as well as romantic love.

I literally read this book in three or four evenings because I just didn't want to put it down.
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The story depicted in Suns will be one to stay with me forever. It gave me chills and brought me to tears several times.. I am not easily brought to tears by books. It was such an eye-opener for me! How privileged women are in this country, myself included. I am so grateful for my life, my rights, the way my husband respects and treats me. I would like to say this book was better than The Kite Runner; I say this with caution because it is hard to compare the two. They both take place in the same country at relatively the same time, however, the person telling the story is so different. This one touched me personally. Be ready to cry and think this could not happen and they could not get away with that, but remember where this story is taking place. You will find yourself half way through the book and wonder how much time has passed. I did. It was worth the time and the tears. I really look forward to his next work, whenever that may be.
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Brilliant. Can't wait for his next book.
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This was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. Read it in two evenings. We American women are so fortunate to live here in the US and I know that I am so very fortunate to have a loving husband. The violence these women have put up with just boggles me. They are so strong.
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I enjoyed this book better than The Kite Runner. Again, I felt the characters were fully-drawn, but this time nothing happened that seemed like an amazing coincidence. I listened to this book on CD, and I loved the sound of the foreign words and names which I woudl have struggled over if I had read it on a page. I left this book with a sense of what the Afghan women have been through - the political turmoil, the violence, the oppression which has continued in cycles for so long. Thsi book has made the current events in Afghanistan even more poignant to me.
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Very beautiful and touching but quite disturbing story about two women's lives intertwining in war-torn Afghanistan. I read about the political and social climate of Afghanistan described in this book with a mixture of fascination and horror. At times you'll want to just break down and cry at the unfairness and cruelty of the character's lives. However, you'll then want to cheer for them once they find redemption.
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I thought this book was excellent. I think I liked it better than the Kite Runner. This book is about two women and how their lives cross because of a man. It really affected me because of the hardships that women face in Middle Eastern countries. It made me very thankful that I live in the US. A great read, an emotional read (have a box of kleenex on hand), but worth every page. Highly recommend
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I stayed up til 1:30 am finishing this book last night - it is fabulous! I loved the Kite Runner but this one is even better. This book is not for the faint of heart - there is horrible abuse in it but I am sure very true to life of what many women across the globe face. Definitely a new favorite of mine!
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even my "non-reader" friends loved it!
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It's been a week since I finished this book and it is still dominating my thoughts. It was incredible. Without a doubt one of the most moving, thought provoking novels I have ever read. I think it should be manditory reading for all high school students, especially female high school Americans. Honestly, everyone should read this book. It puts into perspective all these stupid designer handbags, clothes and shoes we American women "have" to have. How very spoiled and vapid we can be.

Hosseini has a style that draws you in and keeps you there. He writes so beautifully and yet so simply. He gave a very detailed account of Afgan history without sounding preachy or text like. I very much enjoyed his touches of detail and imagry.

There was a point that I was crying so hard for the two women that I had to put the book down. My heart broke over and over for these women and to think that this is the everyday life of millions of women. I ache for them.

It also made me think much more on the war we are currently engaged in. Is it a war that can be won? Should it be won? I don't think it can be won. But it should be, simply to make sure the Taliban is never again in power.
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Could not stop listening! Beautifully written!
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Utterly heart wrenching story of Afghan life. It chronicles three decades, told intimately through the lives of the main characters. I absolutely recommend this book to any westerner that cares to peek into a world so different from our own.
Listening to the CDs, for me, made the tale so living and real. I thoroughly enjoyed this format.
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This ia a great read. My heart went out to the two women in this book. It also makes we grateful to be born in the U.S. It is hard sometimes to realize that other countries are so different. Khaled Hosseini is a very talented writer and makes you feel the story.
Wanda
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I thought this would be a sequel to The Kite Runner, but it is a completely independent story focusing on the plight of women in Afghanistan. The story begins immediately before the Soviet invasion and ends in modern times, with a note of hope and of foreboding.

The main characters are Mariam and Laila, about 15 years apart in age, both with loving fathers and crazy mothers. After enduring the trials of these women--forced marriages, forced covering, abuse, inability to get an education (except briefly under the Soviets), starvation, mortar fire, non-existent health care--I'd be crazy too.

A lovely but gritty story of a society caught in the crossfire.
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Couldn't put this one down, a beautifully written and heart wrenching story. Having heard so much about Kite Runner I went to the library and ended up picking up this one instead...and was not disappointed.

Mariam and Laila are thrown together by war and form a bond that develops in the face of horrific circumstances. A quick warning: some of the violence depicted is pretty graphic, so this may not be for the faint of heart. I especially enjoyed how well Hosseini wrote the pysche behind his two main characters - both female...somewhat surprising coming from a male author.

Keep a box of tissues handy, this one will stay with you for a while.
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If you liked "The Kite Runner," you'll like this book. Hosseini brings his same strong story telling ability to share this heartbreaking journey with us. We should have more than 5 stars for rating these heart-felt books.
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Excellent - A disturbing and touching story of Afghan women. It also helped me understand the complex history of this tormented country.
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This is a must read for everyone. I was skeptical I would like this book, but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. You will fall in love with the characters.
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I could not put it down. Excellent and heard the Kiterunner is even better...be prepared with a tissue.
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I couldn't stop reading this. Great story and I like all the attention to details, made me feel like I was experiencing the characters environment.
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This book was difficult to read, because of the story content, but it was even harder to put down. I'm much more appreciative of the freedoms and rights we as women living in America have. It is very disturbing to read about how women are thought of and treated else where in the world. Not only did these women have to contend with overwhelming discrimination, they also had to
watch as their homeland was devastated by war and how each change in
regime granted and then took away their rights again and again. It surprises me that a man could write such a compassionate story, capturing with honesty and sensitivity how difficult it is for women who live in an oppressed, war torn country. It's a great book, I can't get it out of mind.
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This compelling and tragic story lingers long after the book is put down. I count my blessings to live in a free and open society like the United States after reading this book. Two women with very different beginnings (one abused, and one nurtured), share a brutish husband, with no apparent way out of their repressed, bleak lives. Khaled has a way of writing that allows you to become emotionally vested into the characters. You want to take away their pain; you silently scream with outrage over the mistreatment they endure, you smile when they find peace, love and happiness with themselves and each other. This book gives you interesting look at a war torn country and the sacrifices each person must make to live day by day.
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While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
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Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book..I especially liked how the author over-layed the lives of the two main female characters. The unexpected twists and turns made this a wonderful read.I was so into the story that I read it through quickly the first time and then, right away I read it again more methodically..Loved it!
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Another two generation highly recommended book. Both my 21 yr. old and I enjoyed this one more than The Kite Runner. It spans three generations of women from various classes of Afghan society, covering Soviet occupation and into the rise of the taliban. There are interesting insights on the U.S. input at various times. It is difficult to imagine a society so different than our own and why people make the choices that they make. I had a difficult time putting this book down and felt as though I had a connection to the women profiled. He gives them strength in what must be difficult times.
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I had heard good things about this author but never read one of his books. So I finally decide to after a co-worker's recommendation. I am so glad I did. It was one of those books that I wish I could have listened to straight through. I highly recommend this author. I will be reading his other books as well.
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Very powerful and compelling book. Definitely affected my perspective. I recommend it.
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This is my kind of love story.
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This is a very well written story that will make you feel as if you are right there in Afghanistan with the characters. It is a novel but it sure reads more like an audio-biography. This is a wonderful wonderful story.
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Similar to the Kite Runner from the same author, this is a heavy story about an Afgani woman named Miriam and her life from girlhood to death; through the Soviet invasion of Afganistan to the reign of terror of the Taliban. Wonderful strong women characters from a time and country that basically viewed women as property to be used, abused and thrown away. Some parts are exceptionally brutal. The book sees Miriam's story through her eyes and the eyes of Laila; her once advisary, turned closest family member. You will never forget Miriam's struggle and her fierce loyalty to those who loved her as a human being.
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Khaled Hosseini is an amazing storyteller. I read the Kite Runner first and that is a tough book to follow! This one was just as good and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was one of those that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning sometimes because I couldn't put it down.
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I just finished listening to this and I am utterly breathless. On my way to work this morning I almost finished the book, so I brought it in and listened to the last 2 cds at my desk. At least three times I had to take little breaks to compose myself and wipe away some tears.

This story has moved me in a way that hasn't happened in a while. I highly recommed this book, even though it is heartwrenching in more than a few places through the story. Without a doubt, this story will always stay with me.
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A most excellent read but a bit heart breaking. Two women end up as cowives. The first wife is very afraid as to the change so acts a bit snooty and not so nice to Wife 2, especially when Wife 2 has a child. The first wife has had numerous miscarriages. The husband was becoming bitter at her lack of conceiving. Their shared Husband is a large, arrogant, lying, abusive and hurtful person.

Things begin to slowly change and Hubby is not pleased which means many beatings,starvations and locking ins. All of this takes place among the relentless bombings and raids; no one knowing where the next bomb will hit and who will die? A horrible life.

Only when the two wives join together do they stand a better chance at living but it is still difficult as women are not to be seen nor heard and trust is very hard to accept in this mad world. I read this in 2 days and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Islamic culture.
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This was one of the best books I've read for a very long time. It is fiction, yet it is
about things that can and do happen in the war torn country of Afghanistan. This book pulls you right in from the first page to the very end. I would highly recommend it.
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Totally enjoyed this book. Through the eyes of two women, it really helps those of us who have never had war in our land understand the impact of war on regular citizens. A stong current running through the book is power and the horrors that unchecked power brings in a country and in a home.
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I got halfway through and lost interest. I found it very boring.
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this is a wonderful book- what was it like for two women to actually live through all the turmoil of Afghanistan- the sacrifices a mother makes for her family; how much sacrifice before you snap- how do you reconcile your dreams with the culture?
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This past month, A Thousand Splendid Suns was the selection for my book club. As I had never read Khaled Hosseini's work before, I was unsure what to expect. But A Thousand Splendid Suns captivated me from the very first sentence--where Mariam found out, as a yound child, that she was a "harami". Hosseini keeps the plot moving quickly, even through expository details. The two women's stories mesh smoothly together, and the pages fly by quickly. It's very hard though, to not get politically involved with the plot, as Hosseini details the cruelty inflicted by the Afghan Taliban. Overall, this is a compelling, engrossing read, and worth every minute spent reading it. Will leave the reader VERY grateful for life in America, or any country where women can move about independently. Strongly recommended!!!
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I was in breathless tears at the end of this book. I kills me that atrocious acts are perpetrated against women TODAY. Reading this book made me realize how lucky I am to be where I am, and how blessed I am that God put me here. Read with a box of tissue.
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This book was a little slow in the beginning but it picked up and was worth reading in the end.
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I have not read "Kite Runner" by this author,but I think I will. I really was moved by this book,and even though I know that being a woman in America is truly a blessing this book hammers it home.It is a great story of how woman can and do persevere.This book though fiction does give a history lesson from an "average" persons point of view.How horrible it was to be a woman during Tali ban ,how misfortune and a cruel man can make your life horrid yet appreciating the small stuff.Also how mothers will do anything to protect their children.I really believe that this book should be read.
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I enjoyed this book very much, Kaled Hosseini is a great storyteller! This is a gripping tale of two Afghani women whose lives become intertwined through various events in their lives. They each are raised in very different environments but realize that at the heart of it all, they are very much alike and the bond between them runs the course of so many relationships. What happens to these two, both separately and together, is both touching and heart-wrenching, and shows the heart's enduring capacity to go on and how love can see one through the most horrific of circumstances. It also sheds light on the lives of women in this culture and how they are denied most rights that we take for granted, and are treated like property and not people. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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This was an excellent book. I actually enjoyed this one more than "Kite Runner."
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One of the best books I have ever read!
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I could not put this book down. It is a captivating story of two women's lives expressed on the backdrop of the turmoil in Afghanistan over the past several decades. Hosseini's writing is full of imagery and details that draw you into the story and allow you to empathize with the characters.
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This book was possibly the best book I have read all year. It is moving and mesmerizing and you truly cannot put it down once you start reading it. At one point, the sorrow is almost overwhelming, but I assure the reader the sorrow is worth it in the end!
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This book was great, I've read some good books lately but this on blows just about everything else out of the water.

The story is told from two perspectives, that of Mariam and Laila. The story follows these two as they grow up in Afghanistan during the 70s through 20002. Through their eyes we get to see how governmental changes in Afghanistan affect the people that live there. These two women deal with the changes forced upon them in different ways, even as their lives cross paths.

This was a very well written story. The characters were very well developed. Hosseini has a way with written word that just captivates you. Not only was the story captivating but it was very emotional. The strings that Hosseini ties around your heart get pulled at continually. I have to admit that I cried quite a few times during this story. I was almost sobbing near the end.

Not only does this story give us outsiders a view of what life is like in Afghanistan but it connects us with both women in a way that I became involved in what was happening to them.

Great book, I would recomend anyone who hasn't read it to read it.
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A beautifully written book that's both moving and bittersweet. Hosseini shows the reader how the Soviet occupation, the tribal conflicts and the Taliban rule of Afghanistan affected the people on a daily level through the lives of Mariam and Laila.
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Highly recommended reading. You won't be sorry you ordered it!
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Incredible story about women enduring the personal and political struggles of living in Afghanistan. I believe I liked this even better than Hosseini's The Kite Runner, and that's a difficult feat! Another benefit of reading this book: the history of Afghanistan is explained from the viewpoint of the characters. One caveat: this story contains some intense scenes. Highly recommended.
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This is the kind of book that changes view points, opens minds and hearts and makes a difference in the world. Amazing story telling by Hosseini again. I wondered if he could pull off another book as good as The Kite Runner, and he did not disappoint me with this book. It's a beautiful and haunting story that I will never forget. If I care about the characters of a book and still think of them in a year, the author has written a good book. I will remember the characters of this book for a lifetime ... this is a masterpiece.
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Khaled Hosseini pulls you in to the oppressed lives of his characters in A Thousand Splendid Suns. I cringed at their living conditions, shake my head at the abuse of power, grit my teeth at the unimaginable tortures and am awed by their courage, fortitude, selfless love and continued hope. This book opened my eyes and my pocketbook to the plight of Afghans.
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Books do not get much better than this for me. I was so drawn into the story that I hated putting it down. I bawled while reading it and almost didn't want to give it away for someone else to read. But, I think it was so wonderful, that I also want to share it with everyone. When I finished reading it, I was ready to suggest it to my entire buddy list- including the buddies I don't know very well! In fact, I'm sure there will come a point in the future when I recommend it to a total stranger. I was pleasantly surprised by the Kite Runner and completely blown away by A Thousand Splendid Suns. I give this book the highest of praise and would recommend it to nearly anyone. :)
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I recently read Kite Runner and I must say that I had my doubts that Husseini could ever top it. I think he did with this one!

This one is a little more raw and painful, but I loved the timeline leading up to modern Afghanistan. It's terrifying what happens to citizens of countries while their governments sort things out. The citizens were forced to choose lesser evils in the name of simply staying alive. What a resilient group of people!

I've always found it odd how so many cultures throughout history have treated women so horribly when the are truly the givers of life. War and the Taliban are hard to swallow in this book, but the constant mistreatment of the women was almost unbearable.

This is a great book and I would recommend it to everyone.
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I read this book in two days. This book really sheds a light on life in Afgahnistan and what the woman in the culture are subjected to and what is expected of them. I hope this author writes more books. I've read this one and the Kite Runner and was impressed with both. If you hean't yet READ THIS BOOK!!!
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Amazing! I didn't think Khaled Hosseini could write anything better than the Kite Runner! This story was so amazing, I couldn't put it down.
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An apt compliment to "The Kite Runner" that takes a difference perspective on the same theme: the last fifty years of war in Afghanistan. First the Russian invasion who are then driven out by the warlords; then the infighting among the warlords who are displaced by the Taliban. The story follows two women from decidedly contrasting backgrounds. Eventually, events bring them together until they are separated ultimately by a tragic but heroic act. If "the Kite Runner" repulsed you, expect to be nauseated by the harsh reality in this sister novel. There are several well-placed similes to Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea."
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One of the best books I've read! A must read.
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Wonderfully written and spellbinding. Better even than Kite Runner. I hope he writes another book soon.
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Just like "The Kite Runner" this is a wonderful, tragic, hopeful story of redemption. Mariam and Laila are among the strongest and most heroic characters I've ever met.
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I LOVED this book. I gave it a try because I loved Kite Runner too and it ended up resonating with me even more than that one. Hosseini writes in a style that never loses its reader. I did not want to put this book down. After finishing it, I could not stop thinking about the characters--I even did some research on Afghanistan and its people. He pulls you in that much.
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terrific read! as good as kite runner. wonderful, heartwarming, heartbreaking!
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Fantastic novel. I didn't think it was possible to cry so much yet be so delighted.
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Both heartbreaking and disturbing, I found myself wondering if I would be strong enough to handle the adversity and overcome the obstacles that these women do.
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This book was so good, I could not put it down.. At some points it was gut renching. So sad but so true.
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I didn't think I would at all like this book b/c I'm not a big history buff. However, the story was touching and unreal.
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I actually enjoyed this book more than the Kite Runner. It starts in the 70s and continues to the post 9/11. The author has way of making those years of history understandable to the average American, but he does it while telling the story of 2 unforgettable women. If you have hesitated to read this book, (as I did) dont wait any longer. You will be glad you did.
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I really didn't think it would be possible for the author to top The Kite Runner--which I loved. But lo and behold, he surpassed my expectations. I absolutely loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. Perhaps I just related better to the women's point of view or maybe the story was just more compelling to me. Either way, this book goes on my list of favorites.
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This book starts off a little slow but then you are in the story. I could not put it down very good.
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Perhaps many feel that this book has received too much attention - that it is "overhyped", however if there is any accuracy in the picture painted by Hosseini of the lives of women in Afghanistan, than everyone, men and women, should read it. I'm not a mother, but I the picture painted so vividly of the terrible pain these women went through for the love of their men, their children and their pride was astonishing. I couldn't put it down.
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This was the first book I read by Hosseini, and then I moved backwards to Kiterunner. This book is so well written, it captures you and you won't be able to put the book down. I loved the different parts - it allows you to digest and gives him a way to move across period of times without the reader feeling as if they have missed anything.

Eagerly awaiting his next book....
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If you liked the Kite Runner, you'll like this. Great writing about subject matter I wouldn't have thought I'd be interested in.
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Although not as good as The Kite Runner, this is an excellent, well written piece of fiction based upon the recent history of war-town Afghanistan. The characters are well developed and believable and at times the writing is beautiful.

For a spell binding account of Afghanistan after 9-11 but before the US invasion, read The Places In Between by Rory Stewart. This is the true tale of one Scotsman's WALK across the entire country,from Herat to Kabul, during winter, sleeping where ever he was welcome. 90% of Afghans live in tribal villages, and this book is a real eye opener.
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A sad but beautifully written story about the lives of two Afghan women from about the 1960's to 2003. A history lesson in Afghani life ensues, making this story incredibly heartbreaking. I liked this book even more than Hosseini's Kite Runner. It's a must read.
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I kept with this book and couldn't put it down, despite the depressing story line. Well written, but not as good as his first, in my opinion.
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Words can not describe how good this book was! I had heard good things but I had to see for myself. I read this book in 3 days. If you enjoy this book try Not Without My Daughter.
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Story of a typical female's life in the middle east during the 1980's
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Crazy good. Have read it several times.
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Hard to read about women who are willing to die for their religious.
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Excellent narration! While this was a very painful book to listen to/read, it was well worth it by the time the end came near. It is a very profoundly sad at times, and horrifying as well. It is indeed haunting, heartbreaking and compelling. Hosseini is able to take his reader right into the story, and it feels as though one is right there with the characters experiencing it alongside of them. Although this was set in Afghanistan with all the horrors of being a woman there, I believe there is a universality to some of the themes within the story: domestic violence, abuse, helplessness, etc. Hosseini's books have opened up a new culture and experience for me and caused me to have a deep appreciation for Afghani women and their suffering. Even though this is a painful story, there is much beauty within its pages.
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The Kite Runner was one of my favorite contemporary novels, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is way better! The story follows the lives of two women in Afghanistan, and lets the reader catch a glimpse of the oppression of women under extremist Muslim rule. It is a heart wrenching story, but a must read!
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I read this book for hours straight. Only took me a few days to finish. Loved it!
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One of the best books I've read in a long time. I will never watch the news about Kabal with indifference..
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I loved The Kite Runner, but really couldn't get into this book.
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This book made me angry and then sad. I cried. The writing was wonderful, and the story put me in the shoes of the characters. I wanted to read more and was sorry to reach the end of the book.
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While the writing style of Hosseini is still prevelant in this book, I found it disturbing yet sad for the women of Afganastain. The descripiton is so close to my heart being a women, it makes me morn for them. I must say I am greatful to be living in America as a women and the story made me even more greatful for what I have. Enjoy!
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Ifound this book to be very extremely riviting and possibly better than the author's other work, "The Kite Runner"
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Incredible! Words are insufficient to describe the impact this book had on me. The eight ladies in my book club all rated this a TEN, which is very unusual indeed. The fact that the author was raised in Kabul, Afghanistan gives this story credibility. A war-torn country of survivors: How their strife was ignored, later realized, and finally relieved to some degree after the World Trade Center tragedy September 11, 2001. This is a gripping account of the lives of two very different women whose lives intersect. It is a story of unfortunate events, the struggles of war and tyrannical regimes, brief periods of respite, and hearts that don't give up. A must read.
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Fantastic book. I was left with a tear of joy in my eye.
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great book
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One of the BEST books I have ever read!!
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I loved this book!
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Plain and simple..this book made me want to declare war on men. The lives of these women break my heart.
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I found this book took me on a wonderful journey into another time and place. It was hard to read at times with details of abuse suffered by the women at the hands of the men they tried to love, but I couldn't put it down.
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I loved this book. I loved how Khaled Hosseini is flexible enough to detail the relationship and histories of women as effectively, if not better, than the male relationships detailed in his Kite Runner.

Very tough to put this book down.
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I thought this one was even better than Kite Runner; maybe because the main character is a woman. Hosseini writes the female perspective very well and gives the reader a glimpse into the life of some Afghani women.
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I think I enjoyed this book more than The Kite Runner-another beautiful story with tragedy and redemption. This book shocked me, surprised me, enraged me and made me cry both with sadness and joy. Excellent novel!
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Bar none the absolutely BEST book I've read in years! A wonderfully written, beautiful story of individual strength and faith in the face of insurmountable odds.
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amazing story of brotherhood and love, provides a nice context for pre-war Afganhistan.
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This book tells a powerful story in simple language, but for me it did not live up to the hype generated about it. It had the advantage of telling the exact story that people who have lived through world events of recent years wanted to hear about these social, political and religious circumstances. It was easy to read, but not outstanding, with few characters who stepped beyond stereotype.
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This book will always be in my personal collection. My sister gave it to me because she needed someone else to discuss it with. All I can say is it is inspiring. It gives you a new view on life as a woman. I hugged my family and told them I loved them so much while I read this, and discussed it with them as well. It is beautifully written and heartbreaking. It is written about a woman by a man so there are a few times I didn't agree, but chalked it up to cultural differences. Although it is fictional it does make you appreciate what you have.
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Good, the Kite Runner was a much richer, deeper story. This one was similar, but I felt was following a formula. Still a good read.
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The characters assist the reader to understand the significance of historical events in the context of life in a part of the world that Americans often have never seen. Recommend reading it.
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There is no guessing what will happen from one chapter to the next. This book was amazing and like 'The Kite Runner' it was well written and gripping. Enjoyed every mintue of this read, highly recommend it.
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I have been putting off reading this book because I loved the Kite Runner so much, I was afraid Hosseini's 2nd book would be a disappointment (happens a lot!).

I'm happy to say that this was an incredible book. Touching, scary, sad, and heartfelt, I really felt I knew the characters so well. I wanted to meet them. I wanted to talk to them. They were so very REAL.

Also, this book is set against the history of Afghanastan over the last 30 or 40 years - and the history is very interesting and very clear. I've always been a bit confused as to the timeline of Afghan history, but this book taught me more than any article or summary I've ever read - probably because it wasn't just a dry recitation of facts: You had the characters living among the multiple historic changes, and it was easier to understand each chapter in Afghanastan's history.

I very very very highly recommend this book.
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This book was hard to put down.
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Better than the Kite Runner. A wonderful, eye opening account of the struggles of women in Afghanistan. A testimony to the strength of women everywhere.
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Could not put this down.
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I loved this book. I am actually keeping it in my bookcase. A wonderful book that makes you think and be thankful for the life we are free to live here in the US. I highly recommend this book.
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This is perhaps one of the best books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down and ended up reading the entire book in one day. I found it hard to believe Hosseini is a male because he writes with such perspective from the female point of view. This is a story about a woman who became the wife of a man who decided to take a second wife. The jockeying for position in the home ends up making them friends. My husband even read this book and he was blown away by it. An excellent read for anyone, but for women in particular.
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Compelling. So many adjectives I could use to praise this book. A tragic story & sad but such is life in Afghanistan. The suffering women & children especially went though & are still going through. Unbeleivable tale & to think it's based on fact's. Hosseini is an awesome author & The Kite Runner was so good too. Had to give this one 5 stars. It can be a difficult read, however it captivated me & had to read it in a day! Not much sleep. The story will stay with me forever. I can't say I would recommend it for my book club, as there is so much sadness in it, some of the gals don't like to read dispair. I say it is a must read & children in high school should read this & see how nice we have it here in America.
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Khaled Hossein's second novel is once again set in Afghanistan and much of the story takes place during the Russian invasion in 1978 and takes us through the end of the Taliban rule. The story focuses on the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila, who grow up in very different circumstances but end up together under similar circumstances.

Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man who barely acknowledges her existence. She has no formal education but is taught the Koran. When her mother tragically dies, rather than taking her into his family, he marries her off to a cobbler who lives in Kabul.

Laila grows up in Kabul, a neighbor of the cobbler and Mariam, although the two families do not interact with each other. Laila is well educated and her friends tease her that she will be making newspaper headlines when they are having babies.

Laila's two older brothers join the Taliban to fight the Russian invaders and are killed during the fighting. This sets her mother into an extreme depressive state. Her father is the one who is consistently there for her.

While her father is not fond of the Russian leadership, he knows that the Muslim rule of the Taliban will be devastating for the women in Afghanistan as well as many other areas of their lives in Afghanistan.

When Laila's parents are killed in a bombing attack just before the family's plans to leave for Pakistan take place, Laila ends up at the home of the cobbler and his wife. The cobbler orchestrates events to bring Laila to agree to be his wife.

Mariam and Laila do not get along and the fact that Laila is soon found to be pregnant does not bind the two women together as Mariam has suffered multiple miscarriages during her marriage.

One thing that eventually brings them together is the terrible treatment both receive at the hands of the cobbler who requires that both wear hajibs when in public and that they may not be seen in public without him. The rise of the Taliban rule only reinforces his behavior.

The other thing that brings them together is the birth of Laila's daughter. The two women form a bond that brings each to be willing to make great sacrifices for the other. The ultimate sacrifice happens several years after the birth of Laila's son.

I really enjoyed this book. It showed me what life was like in Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet invasion and after when the Taliban rule took over. It definitely brought forth gray area that was Soviet rule may not have been what the Afghan people wanted, but during that time, women were respected as equals and educated. Taliban rule turned these same women into slaves.
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Khaled Hosseini is truly a talented writer. This book is as good as his Kite Runner, but is about the brutal condition of women in Afghanistan; before, during, and after the Taliban. This author has written beautifully about the friendship between two women in the war- torn society and culture of Afghanistan. I could cry for the wasted lives of women whose whole existence is hard work, and the brutality of their husbands. The societal view that women must be completely subservient, uneducated and covered from head to toe in a burka so that in public they have no identity, makes me realize how fortunate I am.

This book was so hauntingly good that I thought about it for days. The friendship between the two women in this story is so touching and, as the book ends reaffirms the idea that our humanity and love can overcome evil.
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My Love recommended this book to me. I wasn't sure I would like it because I was told there were episodes of the type of domestic violence I do not care to read about. However, I could not put this one down! It captured my attention from the very beginning. In fact, I was sad when I finished it because I was so attached to the characters. This is an excellent read by an excellent author. I highly recommend it.
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This book really touched me...there's so much we do not understand about the lives of women in other countries like Afghanistan.
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this was one the best books i've read in the past few years. i feel i have a much better grasp of recent history with respect to Afghanistan. but Hosseini writes so well that it could have been about any number of other cultures or pure fiction and would still be a pleasure to read.
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The Kite Runner was a pretty rough story, so I had been a little reluctant to read this one. Despite the depressing nature of the story, I liked this one better. The story spans a few decades in Afghanistan and features two different women from very different circumstances who end up married to the same awful, abusive man. I can't even begin to describe the different relationships covered, it's a pretty tangled web, but the book is very well written, has great character development, and has a good (if slightly 'easy') ending. I ended up learning considerably more about the Afghan culture than I did from The Kite Runner, which helped me understand our current political situation a little better.
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Wow! This book provides wonderful insight into another culture and what it is like to live through war. A life-in-the-day of two different women and how their lives come together (and how their lives change when the Taliban come to power).
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I liked this book so much more than his first book, being some one from the same region and knowing the culture, it was extremely close to home for me.
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OMG what a stunning book. I couldn't put it down so I read it in two days. I will read it again this week. Riveting and incredible.
A must read!
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A great read. I read this while my husband was in Afghanistan and I liked how it painted a picture of the country so that I felt like I could see what he was seeing.
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This was a wonderful insight into the culture of the Afgan people and the trama they have suffered over the last 30 decades. Khaled Hosseini brings the women in the story to life and shines a light on their lack of freedom.
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Very good book; I was glad I picked it up
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I enjoyed this very much. Very descriptive.
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This was a great audiobook. The narrator helped me feel like I was right there with the characters. Highly recommended read.
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Absolutely wonderful book.
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Hosseini has done it again with a moving and complex story about Afghan people struggeling to survive amidst the horrors of abuse and war. Being a woman born in the US, with all the freedoms I could imagine, it is shocking to contemplate the life of many Afghan women. This story of Laila and Mariam is one of unimaginable grief, an amazing will to survive, and over-powering love. Read it. It will definitely make an impact. Hosseini is a U.S. envoy for UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. This book convinced me to be a supporter of their cause.
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This book tells the story of two women living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Though born in very different circumstances, they are led to share the same great misfortune- one because of birth, one because of war, both because of tragedy.
This is not a pleasant or light read, it is in fact emotionally brutal at nearly every turn. There is hope at the end, but you will come to it gasping with a thirst for it, like a desert traveler finding water at last.
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Great book. It was as good as his first, the Kite Runner.
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These women live so different - it's an eye opener!
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An excellent read. I have retained the book for my wife to read also.
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I loved this story and it is a must read!
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This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. The window into another world, the long struggle to find his way back. .. all those cliches are true.it's a great read.
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Another great read!
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Strong story..very touching. It made me cry! I was too much into the story! :) It's a memorable book for me. I also liked The Kiterunner very much.
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Suburb insight into a culture and tradition we are needing to understand.
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What a great book! I was moved by the novel which gives insight into the plight of Afghan women...I want to keep this book...
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Absolutely SPLENDID! I read this book while in a reading slump...nothing was catching my eye or captivating my soul...until I took this off my shelf...Just as heart-wrenching and captivating as Kite Runner! Hosseini is such a great author who really drives home an emotional, hearbreaking yet triupmhant piece of work. The only thing he needs to do is WRITE MORE! 5 stars!
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Wow! Even better than The Kite Runner! Would absolutely recommend this book!!! Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!
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I enjoyed this book more than the Kite Runner. His writing style gave me a true look at what life was like for the characters. It's a very moving story and highly recommend it to others.
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Excellent book - just as good as Kite Runner.
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Holy Cow. Powerful, thoughtful, and disturbing, but REAL. The perseverance of our main characters is staggering. Really puts my own stressors into perspective. I like the way the book is organized where one character's life seamlessly flows into the other after we have met them each individually. It will be a quick read because you will be riveted. I like that after all the horrors and hardships, we are left with a glimmer of hope. RECOMMEND.
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SUCH a good book!!!! I read it in 1 day. A must read.
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I thought The Kite Runner was a great book and I had heard that I would like A Thousand Splendid Suns even better. Well that was an understatement. However, the book is emotionally draining and at times I needed to put it aside because I was so affected. I highly recommend it.
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Hosseini is a captivating story teller! While "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is not as good as "The Kite Runner", it is a gripping book that will hold you from start to finish. I definitely hope that Hosseini has many more novels to come!
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When i picked up this book, I really did not think I would like it much. However, Hosseini's writing drew me in quickly. Very touching, accurate of life in war-torn, occupied Afghanistan from two women's viewpoints - lifes that become interwined unexpectedly. Moving, heartbreaking, and a VERY good read!
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As much of a page turner as "kite runner." insightful is an understatement.
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This book was even better than the Kite Runner in my opinion. A story of two women, one very strong and the other very weak, and how their lives intersected.
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this book was wonderful!!! it was a little slow in the beginning, but once the good stuff started...it was unstoppable from then on. i enjoyed it a great deal...
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I found this book to be a powerful reading experience. It moved me to tears to see the effects of war and oppression of women in a culture so far from home, yet in many ways a depiction of "warring" factions in our own country.
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A story of two women during different political regimes in Afghanistan. Khaled's talented pen provides an amazing glimpse into the world of women in this fascinating country. I felt every emotion I own with intensity while reading this book. This book will haunt me for a long time.
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The book was phenomenal. I could not put it down. The characters were compelling and interesting and well-developed. Loved this book, one of my top reads.
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Great book
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What a great author. I enjoyed the characters of this book. Very strong women in awful conditions. The book ends well leaving you satisfied.
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Kept my attention
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Amazing. Very sad.
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Amazing book - a must read!
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An amazing book about a girl growing up in a third world country. The book is an amazing read and you will not want to put it down.
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This is a simply wonderful and knowledgeable book about the trails of womankind and specifically the lives that have beens born to war.
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Good Read
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Another great work by Khaled Hosseini.
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Great book!
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Awesome!
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very good book
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Yes, enjoyable reading. Thanx again.